Thursday, April 9, 2009
Tens of thousands of followers of anti-American Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr thronged Baghdad on Thursday to mark the sixth anniversary of the city’s fall to U.S. troops, and to demand they leave immediately.
“Down, down USA,” the demonstrators chanted as a Ali al-Marwani, a Sadrist official, denounced the U.S. occupation of Iraq that began with the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003, and the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Firdos Square.
The crowds of Sadr supporters stretched from the giant Sadr City slum in northeast Baghdad to the square around 5 km (3 miles) away.
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Protesters burnt an effigy featuring the face of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who ordered the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and also the face of Saddam.
Shi’ites were brutally persecuted under Saddam, who was executed to chants of Sadr’s name in 2006.
This article was posted: Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 9:35 am